Issues: Local Government

Senator Martins-OKKK Karate Tournament Hosts Over 1,000

State Senator Jack M. Martins and the OKKK Karate School in Elmont hosted a Karate Tournament exposition at the Dutch Broadway School this past weekend. Well over 1,000 competitors, fans and families came through the tournament to watch competitors demonstrate kata, kobudo and kumite in the martial arts. Sensei Serge Clark and Senator Martins teamed together to put on the day which hosted over 270 competitors in medal winning action.

February 1, 2012
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Senator Martins Honors Youth Leaders With Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards

State Senator Jack M. Martins hosted his Dr. Martin Luther King Awards for Elmont youth this past week in a standing room only ceremony at the First Church of God in Elmont. The awards presentation highlighted area youth from Elmont and North Valley Stream for their leadership, commitment to social justice, volunteerism, scholarship and community service. The awards presentation hosted nearly two hundred members of the community made up of family and friends of the honorees.

February 1, 2012
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SENATOR RITCHIE REMINDS SENIORS TO APPLY FOR “ENHANCED” STAR

“Doubles Your Tax Savings” But Applications are Due March 1

February 1, 2012
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Senate Approves 'Piggy-Back' Procurement Bill

               Legislation sponsored by Senator Betty Little that would allow local governments to cooperatively purchase, or piggy-back, on contracts already approved for other government agencies was approved today with the full support of the State Senate.

January 31, 2012
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From the Desk of Senator Jack M. Martins

Local Governments Need Relief From MTA Payroll Tax

If you’ll indulge me, I’d ask you to imagine a very complex flow chart, one with a jumble of miniscule numbers and overlapping arrows pointing in every direction that are nearly impossible to decipher. That’s what government bureaucracies tend to create. But in my years of public service, I happen to have gotten pretty good at analyzing these labyrinths, tracing their complexities back to their respective centers. What’s more, I can now almost always predict what you’ll find there: an overburdened taxpayer that doesn’t know what hit him.

January 30, 2012
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Senator Gianaris speaks at Mayor Bloomberg's press conference

Senator Gianaris speaking at Mayor Bloomberg's press conference celebrating the 100th episode of Gossip Girl and all the jobs the show has brought to LIC and the rest of New York City.

January 26, 2012
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New York State Mandate Relief Council Meeting

The New York State Mandate Relief Council will be meeting for the first time at 10 a.m in the Blue Room (Room 250) of the State Capitol.

January 25, 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
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State Mandate Relief Council Holds First Meeting

Senator Martins Is Lone Member From Long Island

The New York State Mandate Relief Council, which was created as part of the tax cap legislation that went into law this year, met for the first time on Wednesday, January 25. Senator Jack M. Martins, the lone member from Long Island to sit on the 11-member council, said he is looking forward to working with his fellow council members to bring relief to local governments and school districts.

The council will be charged with reviewing mandates that are passed on to local governments and school districts. The elimination or modification of some of the regulations will result in costs savings for local governments and school district, which can then pass on the savings to taxpayers.

January 25, 2012
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NY Youth Works Program Provides $62 Million for Job Training and $25 Million in Tax Credits to Combat High Unemployment among Inner City Youth

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of "NY Youth Works," a statewide program to combat the unacceptably high unemployment rates among inner city youth in communities across New York. The new program, passed last month in an extraordinary session of the state legislature, includes $25 million in tax credits for businesses that hire unemployed and disadvantaged youth and $62 million to support job training programs.

January 25, 2012
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Gallivan Advances Medicaid Reform and Mandate Relief Bill Through Social Services Committee

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R,C,I – 59th District) announced that legislation (S.5889C / A.8644A) he authored to structurally reform the cost administration of New York State’s Medicaid system passed the Senate Social Services Committee with unanimous support today. Gallivan’s bill -- the subject of much attention in the Capital and across the state -- incrementally transfers the local share of Medicaid traditionally paid by county governments to the state over the course eight years.

January 24, 2012
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RITCHIE TALKS MANDATE RELIEF AT STATE BUDGET HEARING

State Senator Patty Ritchie today quizzed Budget Director Robert Megna about Governor Cuomo’s proposals for mandate relief in the new state budget.

January 24, 2012
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Local pols reject Morgan Stanley price fixing settlement

The Queens Courier wrote an article about the Department of Justice's $4.8 million settlement with Morgan Stanley for their illegal pricing scheme, which cost ratepayers roughly $300 million. Senator Gianaris and other local politicians are pushing the Dept. of Justice to increase the fine, arguing that the current settlement is unacceptable and would allow Morgan Stanley to keep millions in profit.

Local elected officials are expending “energy” to ensure Morgan Stanley doesn’t get a quick “fix” to its illegal pricing ploy.

January 23, 2012
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LIC employer Fresh Direct eyes N.J. move

The Times Ledger wrote an article that talks about Fresh Direct's potential move to New Jersey and New York's attempt to keep them in the city. Senator Gianaris agrees that it would be disappointing if the online grocer were to leave New York.

A Long Island City online grocery company has filed for a large tax incentive program in New Jersey, but New York state and city agencies are hoping that Fresh Direct stays — if not in Queens, then at least in the city.

“It would certainly be disappointing if they left,” said state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria). “I think it’s important that the business climate in New York continues to be welcoming.”

January 20, 2012
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Fresh Direct Ponders Move

The Queens Gazette wrote an article that talks about New York City's push to keep the online grocer Fresh Direct from making a move to New Jersey. Senator Gianaris believes that it is crucial to remain welcoming to local businesses, like Fresh Direct, in order to keep jobs in our neighborhood.

Fresh Direct, an online grocer that delivers to residences and offices in the New York City metropolitan area and one of the largest employers in Long Island City and Queens as a whole, has become a prize in a bidding war between New York City and New Jersey. The business, which bowed in New York City in 2002, is rapidly expanding and expects to outgrow its Long Island City facility in a few years.

[...]

January 20, 2012
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Politics don't always add up

An editorial written by Times Union investigates the matter of Senate Republicans' wanting to add a 63rd Senate seat, despite the fact that New York is losing two seats in Congress. Senator Gianaris and Senate Deomcrats are opposed to the addition of a 63rd seat on the grounds that the Senate Republican ploy is unconstitutional.

New York is losing two seats in Congress, so how in the world can it add another state senator?

Under the current and much-maligned redistricting process, the Republicans who control the state's upper chamber hold the pens in the once-a-decade exercise that draws district lines. Late Friday, they released an analysis explaining why they will draw 63 Senate districts, adding a member to the chamber.

January 20, 2012
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Senator Valesky Named Member of Senate Select Committee on Libraries

State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) was named to a newly-created bipartisan Senate Select Committee on Libraries.

“Libraries are an integral resource in our communities, providing access to books, technology and education to people of all ages,” Senator Valesky said. “I am pleased to serve on this committee, to focus on the specific needs of libraries in Central New York and across the state.”

January 19, 2012
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RITCHIE NAMED TO LIBRARY PANEL

State Senator Patty Ritchie today was named to a new Senate Select Committee on Libraries, a 19-member panel charged with looking into the future of public libraries in New York State.

January 19, 2012
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Committee Meeting: Local Government Meeting

Senate Standing Committee on Local Government Senator Jack M. Martins, Chair 12 Noon, Monday, January 23, 2012 Room 945 LOB

January 23, 12:00 PM - 12:07 PM
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Senator Seward Comments On Governor's Budget Proposal

ALBANY, 01/17/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today commented on Governor Cuomo’s budget proposal:

“The governor’s budget proposal is a sound continuation of last year’s effort to rein in state spending without raising taxes or resorting to new borrowing.  I believe the plan hits close to the mark on a number of my key priorities and provides a solid starting point for this year’s budget discussion.

January 17, 2012
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